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8 Most Common Mistakes When Sublimating

Banding problem

If you see straight lines with missing ink when printing, this is a Banding problem. It is generally caused by clogging of the print heads. This can also happen if one of the cartridges is running out of sublimation ink.

The inks with the passage of time dry out, obstructing the heads, this interrupts the flow of ink, which means that in some sectors of our printing we have the famous banding lines.

How to avoid the Banding problem? 


To avoid the Banding problem, it is advisable to print the 4 colors every day so that in this way all the printer heads meet a constant flow of ink, in this way we will prevent the sublimation ink from drying out, clogging the heads.

But if the heads of our sublimation printer in Pakistan are already clogged, we must perform a head cleaning.

Forget to print in mirror mode

When we have just started, it is quite common to forget to print the image to be sublimated in mirror mode. It is easy to make this mistake since when we look at the printed paper we see the image well, but when we sublimate the article we realize that we print it badly since it is the other way around.

Always remember that to sublimate everything must be printed in mirror mode.

Time and Temperature to sublimate Wrong

If you are just starting out in the world of sublimation, you probably don’t know the right times and temperatures to sublimate.

Each article has a time and a temperature to sublimate, it is important to respect this since if heat is exerted for a short time the sublimated article may be blurred and if we spend it it is possible that it will be yellowish or blurred since it was heated for long time weather.

Visit our article to know the times and temperatures to sublimate.

Humidity Problems

Moisture can be a major headache when sublimating. During sublimation, our press or plate works at 200ºC and the accumulated humidity is instantly transformed into steam, causing the ink to shift.

These moisture build-up problems can lead to color shifts in your print.

Under normal circumstances, the sublimation paper can accumulate a little moisture, and generally, during ironing, this is transferred to the sublimated article.

How to avoid humidity problems? SOLUTION

  • Avoid moisture on the sublimation paper. For this, it is advisable to store the paper in dry places, if possible in a container or a closed bag. If the paper has accumulated moisture, you must remove that moisture by placing it on the iron for 10 seconds without closing the iron. In this way, the moisture will evaporate due to the heat of the iron.
  • When sublimating shirts, what I usually do beforehand is to heat the shirts for about 10 seconds in order to eliminate moisture.
  • In the same way with rigid ones such as cups, tiles, etc. If these were located in cold places, it is advisable to heat them before sublimating them to eliminate moisture.

Blurry images

During the ironing or the sublimation process, the paper must remain glued to the item to be sublimated without moving, otherwise, the image would be blurred.

To avoid this problem is that we use thermal tape, this tape helps us to keep the paper immobile in the sublimable article. The thermal tape has the particularity of resisting high temperatures, hence its name.

Sublimation on mug

Do not put a lot of thermal tape on the paper as this could affect the quality of the final product. We recommend using the right and necessary amount of tape so that later, when removing the hot product, it is easy for us to detach the paper from the article.

When you remove the sublimation paper, try not to slide the paper, as when it is hot, ink could continue to come off, generating a blurred image. To do this, grab the sublimation paper from one end and lift it up quickly and without touching the surface.

Color problems in sublimation

On our screen, when working on the design to sublimate, the colors always look brighter than after being print , this is because the screen works with the RGB system, while our printer works with the CMYK system.

In the same way, once we have the sublimation paper printed, the colors that we see on that paper are not the same with which our sublimated article will remain, until we have the sublimated product we will not be able to appreciate the final colors and this is a great disadvantage.

Sublimation Color Problem

What I did was create a color table to be able to use it as a reference and in this way to be able to compare the colors of the sublimated item with those seen on the screen.

I printed a T-shirt and a mug with that color table, in this way I have a reference of the final colors and it makes it easier for me to select the colors on the screen.

Ironing marks

In textiles, mainly, it sometimes happens that when the garment is sublimated, it is left with marks after being sublimated. Sometimes when washing the garment these marks are softened when washing, but generally, they do not disappear.

How to avoid iron marks? SOLUTION

To avoid these ironing marks we must experiment with our iron, we must sublimate T-shirts by adjusting the pressure, time, and temperature until we find the right point. It is advisable to vary these registers and check if they have an effect.

Keep a record of all those changes you make to see which is the best combination, keep in mind that each item may require a different pressure, temperature, and time than other items.

Not allowing the printed paper to dry enough

Once our sublimation paper has been printed with the design, it is advisable to let the ink dry so that the paper absorbs it .

Sometimes it has happened to me that I do not let the paper dry enough since it is urgent for me to deliver the work or whatever it was and when sublimating the article it remains with stains in inappropriate places.

The solution for this is to let the paper dry for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. What I do is print the papers at night and the next morning I start to sublimate them, in this way I avoid those unwanted stains.

These are the most common mistakes when sublimating in my experience. Sublimation, like many things in life, requires experience, over time you will grab the hand of sublimation.